President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan lambasted the Council of State, which recently issued a decision reinstating the daily recitation of a student oath in Turkish schools, during a meeting at his palace in Ankara attended by the chairperson and members of the Council of State on Wednesday.
He implied that the Council of State ruling was trying to hinder implementation of the “national will.”
The Turkish government lifted the obligation to recite the student oath before entering classrooms in late 2013 due to its ultranationalist and exclusionary content.
Two days ago the 8th Chamber of the Council of State ruled to overturn the government decision, translating into reinstatement of the obligation to recite the oath.
“Where were you for the last five years?” Erdoğan asked the judges, “We have been awaiting fast and fair rulings from you.”
The chairwoman of the Council of State, Zerrin Güngör, said at the same meeting that it would be inappropriate to comment on an ongoing judicial process.
Erdoğan had previously criticized the Council of State ruling as interference in government affairs.
On Wednesday the Ministry of Education appealed the ruling.
Erdoğan had also exchanged barbs with his ally, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), over the student oath.
Opposition parties and the MHP support recitation of the student oath in schools. The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) is opposed to it.
According to a newly introduced executive presidential system, the president can issue executive orders without legislation being passed by parliament.
An unofficial translation of the student oath is as follows:
I’m a Turk
I’m hard working
My principle is to protect my juniors; to respect my elders; to love my country and my nation more than myself
My law is to rise; to go forward.
O’ supreme Atatürk
I swear that I will walk non-stop on the path you opened, on the target you pointed to
On the ideal you founded
Let my existence be bestowed upon the Turkish existence
Happy is he who calls himself a Turk